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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Fairmount Park Elementary still looking for teachers



Fairmount Park Elementary, which is undergoing a state-mandated turnaround plan, had rehired most of its staff as of about a month ago, with five positions left to fill. But the D-rated school put up job advertisements for teachers again this week. 

The advertisements, which closed yesterday, were for second, third and fourth grade teachers.

It often is difficult to recruit good teachers to difficult schools. Fairmount Park is the second poorest school in Pinellas County, with 96 percent of its students on subsidized lunch. About 44 percent of its staff last year was new to the school, according to the school district. And 60 percent of the instructional staff requested a transfer to another school - that was the fifth-highest rate in the district.

To attract teachers, the district is offering a $3,000 recruitment bonus, paid in two installments. A teacher who stays for several years can earn more money if they receive a highly effective or effective rating on their professional evaluation.

This is the same offer that's been extended to teachers at the other turnaround schools, Melrose Elementary, Maximo Elementary, Azalea Middle and Pinellas Park Middle. District officials haven't provided an exact count yet for hiring at the schools - because it changes often this time of year - so it's not clear yet how well the recruiting has gone.

Maximo Elementary created a PowerPoint presentation about teaching at the school, called "Change a Child's Life," which detailed the extra money and other benefits of working there.

What do you think about the recruitment bonuses? Is that enough incentive to work in a challenging environment? Does it matter more to have a good school climate or a supportive principal?

[Last modified: Friday, July 19, 2013 10:35am]


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